If 'The Thick of It' is the 'Yes, Minister' of the 21st century, isn't it time that Armando Iannucci penned a comtemporary 'Drop the Dead Donkey' for our delectation? Iannucci has gone part way into the press and Dead Donkey territory as he has hinted that a Leveson-style judicial inquiry may well feature in the new 'Thick of It' series, filmed in Spring 2012 and due to air in the autumn. Imagine what The Thick of It will do with THAT.
Paul Merton might cameo as the editor of an irreverant, fortnightly satirical publication. Guido Fawkes could reprise himself. Maybe Peter Mannion will give evidence at the Inquiry - no longer an MP but a professional bagpipe artiste. Or perhaps Malcolm Tucker (now out of government) might have taken advantage of the revolving door between No 10 and the tabloids. Maybe he's done a 'reverse-Coulson' and is now a foul-mouthed red-top editor - all profanity at daily editorial meetings and paranoid about mendacious smears. Oh, how we would laugh...
And with self-referential irony, a completely implausible scenario could be connived where the editor of a revered broadsheet was legally compelled to submit a statement under Section 21 of the Inquiries Act (2005) defending a mildly amusing article about a TV programme which lampoons the Inquiry itself - how funny that would be!
I, James Harding c/o The Times. Times Newspapers Limited of 3 Thomas More Square, London, E98 l XY, will say as follows:No, not a comedy script - behold the Fourth Witness Statement of James Harding, Esq., Editor of the esteemed 'newspaper of record', The Thunderer, called to account for printing "The Leveson inquiry has become the inspiration for the next series of the political satire The Thick of It, the show’s creator Armando Iannucci revealed last night. Mr Iannucci said that a 'major inquiry will feature quite heavily' in the next series"
This is my response to the notice under Section 21 of the Inquiries Act dated 5 July 2012.
The Inquiry has asked about two articles published by The Times: "The Joke is on Leveson in new series of The Thick of It", June 19, and "World of Glitz and Glamour that’s on the revenue’s radar", June 21. In particular you ask why the stories were chosen for publication, why the contents were appropriate and how I consider tile articles comply with the PCC Editors’ Code of Practice.
And the second 'Glitz' article? The one on celebrity tax evasion? With the accompanying photograph of Sir Elton John? Well, The Times had to issue an immediate correction and apology to him, and Elton "is currently suing the paper for libel."
You couldn't make it up.
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